The Reading Bug

Monday: CLOSED | Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00AM – 5:00PM | Sunday: 11:00AM – 4:00PM
785 Laurel Street San Carlos, CA 94070
Nearby Places
  • Beside Nordic Nest
  • Near Nordic Nest
Essential Links
Search for a book at their website HERE Browse our best-selling books HERE. Check out our Staff’s recommended books HERE.
Gifts and Merchandise
Gift Items. Give someone a gift today – toys, t-shirts, coloring materials, arts and crafts kits, more. Shop for gifts Gift Card. Can’t decide? Why not choose a gift card, instead? Perfect for children, grandchildren, grown-ups… anyone! Buy a Gift Card Merchandise. Check out merchandise by the Reading Bug HERE Reading Bug Boxes. Reading Bug Boxes are a perfect, personalized gift. Each box features selections hand-picked by our staff and matched to the unique age and interests of the recipient! Learn more about Reading Bug Box and our mission to connect families and grow imaginations across the globe. Get a Reading Box To learn more about all our Reading Box personalized subscription options for different ages and reading levels, visit our website below. Subscriptions start at just $18/month. Get a Subscription
Calendar. See our upcoming events at our calendar HERE. Storytime. Storytime is currently Fridays and Saturdays at 11:00AM. Laurel Street is now closed to traffic and we’re moving storytime outdoors! Click HERE to see upcoming storytimes. Author Visits. Authors, illustrators, designers, songwriters, performers and more visit our store and local schools regularly and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share their visits with you. Explore video and audio clips, interviews, activities and a list of some of our very favorite books. Enjoy! Author Visits School Visits. Check here for upcoming school visits. School Visits
Support the Reading Bug
Donate to The Reading Bug. Go Fund Me Since opening The Reading Bug bookstore in downtown San Carlos over 13 years ago, we have strived to create a space for families that is more than just another retail shop – a community resource, a gathering spot, a place to learn and grow. We’ve brought incredible authors into our store and our schools. We’ve delighted children (some now grown and even working for us!) with free story and craft times. Our free story and music podcast, Reading Bug Adventures has been downloaded more than 3.7 million times worldwide! We’ve hired the best-darned-staff of experts anywhere, and stocked our store with the very best books that we gladly recommend to anyone who asks. We hope to remain in this community for many more years to come – to deliver all the Reading Bug goodness to you and your families, and to grow and maintain the enthusiasm of all the amazing young readers around us. We are still struggling from the effects of the pandemic and our new hurdle will be finding a new space for The Reading Bug in 2024. After 15 years in the same spot on Laurel Street, JMS Construction has taken over our building and it will be demolished. We are actively seeking new space but no matter where we go, building out a new Reading Bug will be a challenge. We know that there are many important and urgent causes that need support right now. Please, donate what you can, wherever you can – as we all face uncertainty in our future. And, if you choose to donate to us, in any amount, we are truly grateful. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and in your community. Read more about how we’ve responded throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic here. We promise to keep you updated as our search for a new location progresses over the next year! “What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Online Presence

The Reading Bug: Your Magical Neighborhood Children’s Bookstore

The Reading Bug is your local, family owned, independent bookstore!

Founded in 2008 by Diane Savage and her Daughter-in-Law, Lauren Savage, The Reading Bug has always been about creating experiences that bring families together and promote a love of literacy. Imaginatively designed to look like an enchanted forest – complete with toadstool seating and surprises around every corner, The Reading Bug bookstore isn’t just a place to buy books.

It’s a unique place for families to shop, learn, play, socialize, expand imaginations, and grow. The Reading Bug’s staff is dedicated to our mission and delights in matching the perfect books to each reader that comes through our doors.

The Reading Bug bookstore offers an extensive calendar of special events to keep parents and kids busy nearly every day. Storytimes, sing-alongs, author visits, discussion groups, book clubs and craft days are just a few of the many activities you can find at “The Bug.”

In 2011, we expanded our store to more than double its original size, offering even more room for books and gifts, as well as a dedicated event space to host the wide variety of activities and authors that we offer.

In 2015, we expanded again – this time with a global audience in mind. Reading Bug Box was born out of a successful Kickstarter campaign and our desire to bring the personalized, intimate, independent bookstore experience to communities who aren’t fortunate enough to have an indie bookstore of their own.

Delivering a personlized selection of books to children across the globe, Reading Bug Box has thrived and we now ship books to children in every one of the 50 United States and beyond!

Our most recent endeavor is the Reading Bug Adventures podcast, a story podcast for kids, written, produced and performed by us! With this podcast, we hope to introduce children everywhere to new adventures, new worlds and new books – and to have a lot of fun on the way of course.

The decision to open and run a children’s bookstore is an endeavor that has involved the entire Savage family – and you can find most of us in the store throughout the week. We’re constantly thinking of new ways to support our mission and are extremely excited about the next chapters ahead of us.

Thank you for your help in supporting our independent business!

The Reading Bug Lauren Savage Interview San Carlos CA 2024

From Official Website

Browse More Shops and Services


Top Reviews from Yelp

Anita L. | San Bruno, CA
When my son was first born, I decided to subscribe to a monthly Reading Bug delivery box which ended up being an amazing decision. Every month, 3-4 books would arrive that were age appropriate and introduced my son to a variety of different stories and characters.

After almost a year of this subscription service and after we had built up a decent sized library at home, I decided to stop the service but given that the Reading Bug is relatively local, it’s still a great place to pop into from time to time to check out what new offerings they have and to bring new stories back home.

The Reading Bug has a great selection of books for kids of different ages, as well as a variety of crafts and toys to bring home as well. The staff is very friendly and while I personally haven’t attended any of their events yet, I do know that they have these from time to time to cater to the community which I think is great.


Jess C. | San Carlos, CA
I’m at the age where my friends are having babies and the babies are having their first birthdays. I’m more of an audiobook kind of gal, but this place is perfect for picking out a present for the kids. They have a variety of books for children of all ages (even some books I would read). Will continue to come here as long as I’m still invited to my friends’ kid’s birthday parties.


Corey N. | Rancho Cordova, CA
If you are looking for books and educational items for kids of all ages, come here! Found this kids bookstore walking around in San Carlos this weekend. It is large inside and filled with great selection in books and items for kids of all ages. There is a little area for books for the adults as well.

In the back there is a large area where clearly there are book readings to the kids at times. A playhouse is on the other side of the store. Bathroom is clean with some great kids genre posters on the wall. The Hungary Caterpillar poster is even signed by the author.

Walked away with some great books for my granddaughter’s upcoming 4th birthday. So happy my wandering brought me here.


Kate W. | San Carlos, CA
My son is an avid reader and he missed getting books from his school library. Since we couldn’t browse the shelves and pick out our own books, I asked the Reading Bug staff to select books on my son’s behalf. I gave them a little insight into the books he’s enjoyed in the past and crossed my fingers.

I just picked up our surprise books. Every single book was new to us — and every single book looks fantastic. If you’re looking for summer reading material for your cooped up kid, I highly recommend sending the staff an email. I feel like we hit the book lottery.


Aimee W. | Redwood City, CA
We’ve been coming here for years to pick up books and take part in store activities, very much enjoying the friendly service and the neighborhood feel. This week, I needed a birthday gift and was thankful for their online service where they put together a gift package that was ready for contactless pick up. Looking forward
to shopping in the store when ready!!


Meghan P. | Woodside, CA
This store is such a gem and I’m so thankful it exists! Many, many reasons why I love the Reading Bug:

  • Story times! My baby daughter and I went to so many Reading Buy story times (they have them 6 days a week!) while I was on maternity leave – they always include such great books and songs in their amazing, big story time area. I highly recommend this!
  • They have a sweet kids play area with a little house, train set-up, etc. – my older son loves this!
  • They have two clean restrooms with fancy changing areas
  • They have a great selection of books, stuffed toys, and other toys – I discovered and bought a lot of great books through story times- They offer gift wrapping!

The Reading Bug holds so many of my special maternity leave memories and I hope to continue to visit for years to come with my kids!


L W. | Peninsula, CA
Amazing local book store. Such a great addition to Laurel St. I try hard to buy our books here instead of Amazon. We need businesses like this in our community. This is also my go-to place to get kids’ birthday gifts.


Rachel A. | San Mateo, CA
I love this bookstore! I’ve actually never been in person, but found them through Indiebound when looking to order from a local store. Their selection is great and any time I’ve needed to reach out about an order, their customer service has been wonderful. Books are always shipped quickly and in great condition. I really appreciate that they’re still open, taking orders, and shipping books quickly during this pandemic. Thanks so much for keeping my family’s minds busy and joyful in difficult times!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *