Despite this, Harri Potter is holding my attention. Yes, even despite the fact that I have to look up a word in the dictionary every sentence or two, I am enjoying the story.
I know that many people are rude about Rowling's writing, but she tells an interesting story and it's still interesting, even at the speed I'm currently reading.
This is no mean feat.
I can see how she became so popular with the habitual non-readers.
For instance I'm just past the point where Hagrid has told Harry about his parents being wizards and how they were killed by Voldemort. Harry wakes up next morning, convinced that it's all a dream. The writing isn't fancy, the descriptions are sparse but adequate (it just says that the cottage is full of sunlight, there's no loving description of the quality of the light or the texture of the coat Harry's sleeping under), but the pull of the larger story keeps the reader wanting to read on (will he get to Hogwarts despite his uncle's opposition?) and there are amusing details -- like the owl bringing the newspaper and requiring payment -- that make it fresh and different.
I think that combination of overall story pull plus neat thing on every page is something I need to bear in mind with regard to my own story telling...