My wife and I went out to the book release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and I refuse to apologize to any anti-geeks out there. We didn't dress up, but we did see a great number of folks who did (some of the costumes were pretty good). Oh, and for you folks who think that children are learning to do magic because they can't tell the difference between fiction and reality, we didn't see anybody pretending to do magic spells (even though there were a few 'wands'). We decided to eschew Borders for the lesser known, but much more pleasant, Carpe Librum, a locally owned and very quaint bookstore. I knew it was the place for me when I entered one day to browse, and ended up having wine, cheese, and a lovely chat with the proprietor in the back room.
So, I'm sure I will be the one-hundred-and-eleventieth person to say so, but you must read these books. If you feel that your children will never grow out of believing in Santa Claus, I'm sure some consternation would do well, but otherwise, I express no concern. They are a bit above the reading level of some of the kids who were at the bookstore. Kat and I theorized that this was the parents' cover to keep people from thinking that they were really the ones out for the book. Anyway, if nothing else draws you about the books (especially if you're a Christian), I think you will find it engaging that an underlying principle is that there is something unique and special about the ability to feel pity.
Alright, I've got my blindfold and my cigarette. Fire away, gendarmes, fire away.