It's so interesting to hear everyone talk about reading the series as kids. I actually read them TO my kid. I remember hearing about the first Harry Potter on a talk show, some group was trying to have it sensored because it supposedly taught children how to perform witchcraft. I was intrigued since I am adamently against sensorship. So I got it from the library, and at 30 something years old, I was thoroughly entertained. It was such a fun book to read. My son was about 7 at the time, and we used it to help him learn to read. I remember anxiously awaiting each new book coming out. It was something that the two of us could do together and gave us a common interest. I wasn't that impressed with the movies - they were good but came nowhere close to creating the magical world described in the books.
Oh yeah! I think I do remember this happening, over here some idiots were claiming the series were satanic or something like that. There was a christian group behind those claims, claiming that those books shouldn't be read by kids, because the series had a really dark theme and talked about witchcraft and so on. Glad almost no one listened to them, most people ignored them. A lot crazy people out there, no doubt about it!