I did not read the Harry Potter books right away. Maybe it was all the hype. But, after getting the first book at a used bookstore, in the original English version (Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone), I kept reading. And I watched each movie after reading each book - except for the last three. For those I had to wait along with all the other fans.
As a writer, I admire J.K. Rowling's talent. Her storytelling, the way she pulled together seven books, and her rich characters, made them all very compelling to read. It was also fun to see the kids grow up along with the movies...and turn into some pretty good actors. And the rest of the cast is a very impressive list of accomplished actors.
We went on opening night for the last movie. We got VIP tickets for a late showing in a really cool theater. Unfortunately, they did change a few things and leave a few things out that missed the mark. It would be interesting to see why they changed what they did and what ended up on the editing room floor. But, I still enjoyed it.
So, alas, Harry Potter. They were a lot of fun to watch, but I guess I'll always prefer the books in the long run. Because despite all the great effects and great acting in the movies, I really have to agree with Chris Columbus, the director of the first two films. As he stated when being asked about the success of the movies: "It comes down to one simple thing: seven brilliantly written books."