I don't tend to re-read many books, mainly because my to-read list is already constantly getting longer, but toward the end of last year and into January I read the Harry Potter series again. My initial experience was with my kids--- particularly my daughter who happened to be eleven when the first book came out (as were Harry, Ron, Hermione and friends) and as each year brought another book we waited expectantly, attended midnight release parties at Barnes and Noble, read and discussed and imagined what would happen next! Those are some fun memories.
My reason for reading them again was mainly to pump myself up for our trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. I should now add that the entire purpose of the trip was to allow some crazy runners an opportunity to runDisney marathon- which they said was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and must be done again! But for me it was all about Potter World-- Hogsmead and Diagon Alley-- which were amazing (although a few of the rides are pretty intense)! They sell wands that actually "make magic" throughout the village and there is even a Hogwarts Express train that transfers you between places-- but you must have tickets to both parks to ride.
So, back to the books--- it was quite a journey. Most things were just as I remembered, also having watched the movies multiple times.... but a few things I didn't remember. The main thing was just how dark the stories became at about number 5. I got to a point with Professor Umbridge that it was just hard to keep reading. I actually set the task aside and read other books before forcing myself back into it (I was determined to finish them all before our trip). This story is fun, fantastic, clever, magical, adventurous, scary, sad and joyous. It's a story about friends and enemies, winning and losing, teaching and learning. It's a great story to experience with your kids (11+). Read these books, watch the movies, save your gold and take a trip to Universal (runDisney).