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The Greater Reading Area (Readingmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, and its outlying suburbs) generally refers to the whole of Berks Countymarker (with an estimated population of 391,640 in 2004) and southern Schuylkill Countymarker.

While the land area of Reading itself is 10 square miles (26 km²), the land area of Berks County is 435 square miles (1,127 km²). Some of the more immediate suburbs of Reading are the boroughs of West Readingmarker, Wyomissingmarker, Shillingtonmarker, Sinking Springmarker, Mt.marker Pennmarker, St. Lawrencemarker, Laureldalemarker, and Mohntonmarker and the townships of Springmarker, Cumrumarker, Muhlenbergmarker, Bernmarker, and Lower Alsacemarker. Reading Regional Airportmarker (Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Field) is located in Bern Township and is home to the Mid-Atlantic Air Museummarker.

Sitting just to the north of Reading is the former site of the Reading Works. This plant opened in 1962 by Western Electric and had a peak employment of 4,900 in 1984. After being taken over by Lucent Technologies in 1996 and Agere Systems in 2000, the Reading Works became the Greater Reading Expo Center in 2006.

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