A scrappy match, in which Ipswich controlled much of the possession, was settled midway through the first half when Jake Taylor ran through and guided the ball home past Ipswich goalkeeper Dean Gerken.
Reading secured a 2-2 draw at Wigan on the opening day of the new campaign - they were only denied a win by an injury-time equaliser - and then saw off League Two outfit Newport in the Capital One Cup first round in midweek.
Ipswich defeated Fulham 2-1 at Portman Road as the season kicked off but then lost 1-0 against Crawley in the Capital One Cup. Striker Conor Sammon, recruited on loan from Derby, started on the bench at the Madejski Stadium.
Due to injuries to senior players, Reading fielded 12 players, including all seven substitutes, who had graduated through the club's academy.
And one of them, Simon Cox, could have given the Royals the lead after just 20 seconds but drove tamely at Gerken.
It was to be a rare home incursion, with Ipswich dominating much of the first half through the driving efforts of Luke Hyam and former Reading midfielder Jay Tabb, who strangely had the number 18 missing from the back of his shirt.
Ipswich's efforts almost paid off when Luke Chambers had a fierce shot blocked on the line by Jordan Obita, with David McGoldrick unable to force the loose ball in.
And they were soon made to pay for the missed chance, with Reading going ahead in the 26th minute.
Chris Gunter delivered a long diagonal pass forward, with McGoldrick only able to divert it on to Taylor. Gerken raced from his area but 22-year-old Taylor arrived first to nudge in his first senior goal.
Ipswich threatened through a Christophe Berra header from a Tabb free-kick, which drifted wide, and again in the early stages of the second half. Tabb, now with a number on his shirt, slung over three dangerous crosses that the Reading defence just about cleared to safety.
As Reading sat back protecting their lead, Ipswich drove forward purposefully and McGoldrick should have done better when latching on to a through ball, but was successfully challenged at the last moment by Michael Hector.
Reading offered little in attack and Ipswich kept probing. McGoldrick again found space in the home area but his angled effort trickled narrowly past the far post and he was soon replaced by Sammon in the 70th minute.
Sammon added vigour to the Ipswich attack but Reading held on resolutely. However in the last minute they needed Shaun Cummings to nod the ball off the line and on to the crossbar from Tyrone Mings' goalbound header.