Reading is a city and unitary authority in the county of Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, located at the confluence of the Thames and Kennet rivers, the city is halfway between London and Oxford, on the edge of the M4 motorway. The English pronunciation of this name is / rɛdɪŋ /. Note the difference with the homologous verb form reading, whose pronunciation is / ri: dɪŋ /. Reading is probably the most important business center in the south east of England, apart from Greater London. Most of Britain's major companies are headquartered in the city, which also houses numerous multinationals. The ECMWF has its headquarters here. It is also a university city with an important student community.
The city center is located near the confluences of the Thames and the Kennet River, reflecting the history of the city as a river port. Before the confluence, the Kennet extends through a narrow opening to form the river plain of the Thames. Reading is 64 kilometers west of central London and 40 kilometers southeast of Oxford.