from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In printing, a boy employed to read copy to a proof-reader; a reader's assistant: in the United States called copy-holder.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
There the printers are at work, and will be at work all night; the lad who has just gone in is a printer's lad, and because of some part of the work he has to do he is called a "reading-boy."
Sometimes, if the reading-boy is very clever, he can read the first writing, but the writing is very often so bad that even the men who set up the metal types can hardly read it.
He could not refuse, but must wait in the paraffin-like smell of the ink, listening to the droning voice of the reading-boy.
At half-past two all the pages were passed for press, and they descended the spiral iron staircase, through the grease and vinegar smell of the ink, in view of heads and arms of a hundred compositors, in hearing of the drowsy murmur of the reading-boy.
The white-washed wall, the glare of the raw gas, the low monotonous voice of the reading-boy, like one studying a part, or perhaps like the murmur of the distant audience; the boy coming in asking for "copy" or proof, like the call-boy, with his "Curtain's going up, gentlemen."
I shouldn't wonder if I was to come to be a printer's reader, instead of a reading-boy, and earn ever so much a week by-and-by. "