Reading is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. With a population of 87,575, it is the fifth-largest city in Pennsylvania. Located in the southeastern part of the state, it is the principal city of the Greater Reading Area.
The city, which is approximately halfway between the state's most populous city, Philadelphia, and the state capital, Harrisburg (as well as about halfway between Allentown and Lancaster) is strategically situated along a major transportation route from Central to Eastern Pennsylvania, and lent its name to the now-defunct Reading Railroad, which transported anthracite coal from the Pennsylvania Coal Region to the eastern United States via the Port of Philadelphia. Reading Railroad is one of the four railroad properties in the classic United States version of the Monopoly board game.
Reading was one of the first localities where outlet shopping became a tourist industry. It has been known as "The Pretzel City", because of numerous local pretzel bakeries. Currently, Bachman, Dieffenbach, Tom Sturgis, and Unique Pretzel bakeries call the Reading area home.
Reading is located at 40°20′30″N 75°55′35″W (40.341692, −75.926301) in southeastern Pennsylvania, roughly 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Philadelphia. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26 km²). 9.8 square miles (25 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km²) of it (2.39%) is water. The total area is 2.39% water. The city is largely bounded on the west by the Schuylkill River, on the east by Mount Penn, and on the south by Neversink Mountain. The Reading Prong, the mountain formation stretching north into New Jersey, has come to be associated with naturally occurring radon gas; however, homes in Reading are not particularly affected. The surrounding county is home to a number of family-owned farms.
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