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.