Having never seen ANY of the films of this mega-behemoth franchise, I decided to buy all 7 books to read first, before indulging in the movies. I wanted to see what all the buzz was about, and how this Harry character made Rowling a household name. I've always believed books are better than their film adaptations, and didn't want the film to 'spoil' the story for me so. After breezing through Sorcerer's Stone, I couldn't hold out to read the remaining 6 books, and decided to watch the first Potter film.
To be honest, I actually liked the films better than the books, but I 'get' the appeal children have to Rowling's series. Harry Potter includes every magical element a child could possibly want in a story. She also has a style of writing that effortlessly captures the imagination a child (or an adult who still has the heart & mind of a child) through her vivid descriptive characters. It's a quick read that isn't merely dumb-downed writing for a child's level, but has an easy flow that seamlessly draws the reader into Harry's world of wizardry.
As a bibliophile, I'm glad I bought the hardcover books - the complete set is well-worth having on the shelves of any collection. I now understand how the success of Harry Potter made JK Rowling a billionaire. I would recommend the books for any avid reader of any age who wants to escape into fantasy, or parents who want to get their children to read more.