Underappreciated, home and expensive were three of the most popular words readers used to describe Reading.

We asked them to use one word to encapsulate the essence of Reading, which split opinion on the town’s appearance, management and atmosphere.

Home was the most used word by a landslide, with residents born and bred in the town pointing to their fond memories and arguing that what Reading has to offer in terms of shopping, entertainment and history is often underappreciated.

Others were concerned for their safety, with drugs and stabbings reported as the cause for their fears.

Traffic, perhaps unsurprisingly, was the second most used word and a look back over just the last fortnight shows stresses on the road capacity caused by M4 closures and concerns over ‘dangerous’ junctions.

Some readers felt the town has gone downhill, owing to the building of high rise flats and decline of its traditional industries like bulbs, beer and biscuits.

At the same time, words like booming, thriving and pride presented an alternative view of Reading, with reference made to the historic Abbey, and the opportunities and diversity the town has to offer.

That’s if you can afford it – residents were concerned about the rising prices of houses and consumables.

Reading’s own Elvis and cheeselogs received an honorary mention, as did Jeremy Kyle, but interestingly Ricky Gervais was not on the list.

Some commenters expressed their feeling that Reading was a city to them, even if the town was not officially recognized as such despite multiple bids.

Is something missing from the word cloud? If you think you can better describe Reading in one word, comment below.