county town of Berkshire, Old English Readingum (c. 900), "(Settlement of) the family or followers of a man called *Read."
Middle English reding, from Old English ræding, "a reading, the act or process of reading" either silent or aloud, also "that which is read, a passage or lesson," a verbal noun to go with read (v.).
The meaning "interpretation, act of interpreting" is from mid-14c. (in reference to dreams). Meaning "a form of a passage of text" is from 1550s; that of "a public event featuring reading aloud" is from 1787. Reading-desk, one adapted for use in reading, is by 1703; reading-glass is from 1660s. Reading-room, one furnished with newspapers, periodicals, etc., is from 1759.
Middle English redi, with adjectival suffix -i (as in busy, crafty, hungry, etc.) + Old English ræde, geræde "prepared, ready, suitably equipped;" of a horse, "ready for riding."
This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *(ga)raitha- "arranged" (source also of Old Frisian rede "ready," Middle Dutch gereit, Old High German reiti, Middle High German bereite, German bereit, Old Norse greiðr "ready, plain," Gothic garaiþs "ordered, arranged"), which is perhaps from PIE root *reidh- "to ride" (see ride (v.)).
Lengthened in Middle English by change of ending. Sense of "at hand, present, available" is late 12c. Of money, "immediately available," c. 1300, hence slang noun the ready "cash" (1680s). Phrase at the ready "in the position of a soldier's firearm after the command '(make) ready!'" is attested from 1837. As an adverb, c. 1300, "at hand." A ready-reckoner (1757) was a book of tabulated calculations of the sort used in ordinary business and housekeeping.
early 13c., redien, "to administer" (a sense now obsolete); c. 1300, "to take aim;" mid-14c., "to make (something) ready, prepare, put into proper condition or order," from ready (adj.). "Somewhat rare between the 15th and 19th c." [OED]. Related: Readied; readying. Compare Dutch reeden "prepare, dress; German bereiten, Danish berede "prepare, get ready;" also compare redd (v.).