Just to show how much of a whore I really am, I expect that there'll probably be at least one Harry Potter-related post as we move closer to the release date of the book. It's like the iPhone, except it's books!
Of course personally, I can't buy the 7th book. Because I just realized I haven't bought the 6th and haven't read it yet. In an old, distant book review, book five was the most abysmal (and I think many people were disappointed in book five too, but that's years ago, and people are raving about the latest Harry Potter movie that's based on the lamest book in the series).
Anyway, SF Signal has this Harry Potter Outreach Program Update which is basically a list of recommended books for people who like Harry Potter (and segregated according to age). Whether you'll agree or disagree on the selection of some books, it's nonetheless something to begin with when reading SF&F.
Yet that phenomenon isn't new. The tag-line "If you like reading Harry Potter, then you'll enjoy..." is the industry's way of cashing in on the hype. And honestly, there are a lot of good books out there that's better than Harry Potter. It's just that the public isn't aware of them, or aren't willing to give them a try. That's not me blaming Harry Potter, that's me blaming human nature. But then again, who am I to talk? I have friends who were reading Harry Potter before it became popular. I'm not one of them though. It's precisely because it was hyped and popular that I read Harry Potter (and probably the same goes for people who read Eragon here in the Philippines--you were curious). Now I'm just waiting for Golden Compass and The Dark is Rising so I can rub it in all your noses that I read the books first even before a movie was hinted!