Readda the Saxon was tired. His people had travelled a long way in seach of a place to settle, but they had not yet found the right place. They had been travelling through the thick forest that covered Southern England, following what is now known as the River Thames for several weeks, when they chanced accross a natural ford in the stream, just downstream from the mouth of what is now the River Kennet. A small mound nearby the river, combined with the large valley surrounding it made this an ideal place to defend should the need arise. The ford meant that trade would flow quickly. He sensed that this would be a good place to live.

Hundreds of years later, a large market town had grown from this settlement, due to the trade routes that ran along the Thames and Kennet. It was named Reading, after its founder, (which is pronounced Redding due to his red hair). Henry I recognised its importance, and started to build an Abbey in 1121. In 1164, Thomas A'Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, consecrated the Abbey, which quickly became a pilgrimage point. The abbey has also been a setting for the British Parliament on several separate occasions.

Through the latter part of the Second Millennium, Reading because best known for the Three B's: Beer, Biscuits and Bulbs (as in plant seeds, not lights). Thomas Huntley took over the running of a bakery in 1822, making money by selling biscuits to passing travellers. In 1841, George Palmer joined the bakery, which became Huntley and Palmers. William Blackall Simonds founded the Simonds Brewery in 1785, and in 1960 it was taken over by Courage. Suttons Seeds was started in St Mary's Marketplace in 1802.

Today, Courage still have a brewery in the town, the largest in Europe. Huntley and Palmer left the town at the end of the 1980s, and the Suttons Seeds building is now occupied by Natwest Bank.

Reading's big attraction still is transport links. The M4 motorway runs alongside the town, Paddington Station in London is only 30 minutes away by train, and Heathrow Airport is less than half an hour's drive away. For this reason, Reading and the surrounding area is home to the UK offices of many large technology companies, including Oracle and Microsoft. The recently opened multi-million pound Oracle Shopping center (no relation to the database company) has livened up the town center, especially in the evening where there is a bar or club to suit every taste, from the alternative (Purple Turtle and Rising Sun), to the mainstream (Utopia, Brannigans, and Bar Med). The town is also home to the Reading Rock Festival, held every year on the fields by the River Thames. Reading University is known for its agricultural studies, as well as being the employer of cybernetics "expert" Kevin Warwick.

All in all, just another English Market Town

The different ways to pronounce a kanji (Chinese character) in Japanese. A kanji can have one or more of on-reading and kun-reading.

I grew up in a bad part of Queens, NYC, and was not really allowed to leave my backyard. My world was very small. One day, when I was around 6 years old, one of my mother's friends from work called and asked if I would like to have a big box of books that she had found while cleaning out her attic. My mom told her to bring them by and she'd pick out a few books for me. Later that day the woman arrived with a huge box of books. My mom told me I could pick out a few that I wanted. Of course, I whined until she let me keep the entire box.

Those books made me who I am today, as cliché as that sounds. Most of the books were for young-adults, but I devoured them nonetheless. I read silly stories about magic-fudge that gave you the ability to turn into animals, magical tours through chocolate factories, the adventures of a set of do-gooder twins, a giant peach that wisked you away from your hum-drum life, and countless others. I think I made my way through that box in 6 months, going through 1 or 2 books a week.

It awakened a voracious hunger in me; I'd read anything I could get my grubby little hands on. I even chose my breakfast cereal, which is something very important to a 7 year-old, by what was written on the back of the box. Going to the library was just as exciting as Disneyland! I was an addict, for life.

When I was 8, I started to read my mother's books. I remember Sister Claire, the ice-nun, taking away my copy of Stephen King's Misery and scolding me for bringing an "ungodly" book to school. She smacked me with a ruler for trying to look smart by "pretending" to read such a big book. The book was taken away from me and my mother was called, which was a big deal in the 3rd grade. My mother told Sister Claire that she had given me the book, and that it was to be returned to me immediately. The rest of the year was filled with parent-teacher conferences concerning my mother's "irresponsible parenting" because she refused to keep me from reading anything I wanted. She refused to keep me away from my books. Eventually my mom got sick of it all and pulled me out of Catholic school.

After life, reading was the best gift my mother ever gave me. Books let me live a thousand lives, reach the far ends of the world, and see beyond the chain-link fence of my yard. I don't know where I'd be without my books.

I hope one day I can pass this king of addictions on to kids of my own.

Read"ing (?), n.


The act of one who reads; perusal; also, printed or written matter to be read.


Study of books; literary scholarship; as, a man of extensive reading.


A lecture or prelection; public recital.

The Jews had their weekly readings of the law. Hooker.


The way in which anything reads; force of a word or passage presented by a documentary authority; lection; version.


Manner of reciting, or acting a part, on the stage; way of rendering.



An observation read from the scale of a graduated instrument; as, the reading of a barometer.

Reading of a bill Legislation, its normal recital, by the proper officer, before the House which is to consider it.


© Webster 1913.

Read"ing, a.


Of or pertaining to the act of reading; used in reading.


Addicted to reading; as, a reading community.

Reading book, a book for teaching reading; a reader. -- Reading desk, a desk to support a book while reading; esp., a desk used while reading the service in a church. -- Reading glass, a large lens with more or less magnifying power, attached to a handle, and used in reading, etc. -- Reading man, one who reads much; hence, in the English universities, a close, industrious student. -- Reading room, a room appropriated to reading; a room provided with papers, periodicals, and the like, to which persons resort.


© Webster 1913.

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