Every so often when I'm sick in bed; a little depressed; or just generally cold and want nothing more than to snuggle up with blankets and forget the world for a few days, I go on a Harry Potter marathon. I read every single one of the books - in order - over the course of around two days (I've read them so often that I can devour them in almost a single go now) followed by as many of the films as I can fit into the time I have left, before I'm forced back into reality.
I am one of the Harry Potter generation. I was four when this first book was published, fourteen when the series concluded, and around the same age as the characters in the films when they eventually came out. I still remember my mother insisting that I was too young to read this (at the age of 5) and hiding it under the sofa cushions so I could read in secret anyway.
It's a series that I grew up with, and as such, cannot comment on its literary merits without bias. All I know is that these books are a comfort, and feel almost like family. They may not technically be the best books I have ever read, but for a reading experience they are truly unparalleled.