::: ducks her head to keep from being brained by flying books :::
No, seriously. Never. Not a one. I bought and started to read the first book aloud to my nephew once when he was but a wee toddler, but he preferred Captain Underpants and endless re-reading of The Stinky Cheese Man ("You can't catch me; I'm the Stinky Cheese Man!") so Harry Potter was brushed aside like so much garbage. For all I know it still sits gathering dust on my nephew's bookshelf, next to the nine hundred volumes of Captain Underpants that he DID read. He's eleven years old now, and really only cares about his electric guitar and skateboard. ("Harry who?")
For a long time, My nephew wouldn't even go see the Harry Potter movies with me; he scared easily when he was younger and - after viewing one of the films - declared them "unsafe and too scary for a little kid like me". 'Nuff said. (Eventually he did get over it.)
When I was a bookseller in San Francisco, I lived through the initial Harry Potter insanity. Not the Scholastic insanity. The original Bloomsbury British edition insanity. The "Holy shit, tell me again why we're importing 500 copies of this weird kids book again? The Hairy what?" and the frazzled parents hitting the information desk, pleading with us "Just one copy? Surely you must have JUST ONE COPY!?" and the kids with piggy banks dumping their accumulated coins in front of the cash register in triumph so they could pay for their own copy of the book.
Yeah, I lived that one, thank you very much.
But even then, I never read the books, even though I regularly read - and love - middle-reader and YA fantasy.
I have no idea why I've never read a Harry Potter book. But if it's any consolation, I have listened to the Harry Potter books. Not all of them, just books One through Four. I actually listened to Book Two first, when Big A came over to help me paint my apartment about seven (yes SEVEN!) years ago. It was a blast! I was working for Big Ass Publishing Company at the time, and they regularly gave free copies of the new audio version to the employees, so I scrambled to listen to as many as I could. But somehow I am still two books behind the rest of the world.
This year I have resolved that I will actually READ the Harry Potter books. To aid me in my resolution, Kgaard has agreed to loan me his copies of the books, one at a time, until I have caught up with the rest of humanity. Will this make me a better person? I don't know. But, hey! Maybe it'll help me make conversation with hot nerdy chicks who have read the books!