Substitute Tom Barkhuizen scored his first goal for Blackpool to put Paul Ince's side top of the Championship on goal difference.
The hosts had the better of the first half but the Royals went close through Royston Drenthe's free-kick and Jem Karacan's effort that hit the bar.
Matt Gilks saved at the feet of Reading striker Adam Le Fondre after the break.
But, on 75 minutes, Barkhuizen beat two men and fired home to seal the three points for his side.
Tom Barkhuizen - goalscorer
Tom Barkhuizen's strike was his first for Blackpool, in his sixth appearance. However, he had scored 13 goals during loan spells at Hereford and Fleetwood in 2011 and 2012
Blackpool started brightly and Ricardo Fuller tested Alex McCarthy with a left-foot shot from 25 yards before Neal Bishop headed wide of the goal after good work from Nathan Delfouneso and Angel Martinez.
The visitors rallied at the end of the first half and could have gone into the break 1-0 up.
Drenthe found the unmarked Karacan with a free-kick on 43 minutes, but his left-foot volley was cleared by Gary Mackenzie, before the former Real Madrid man tested Gilks with a curling free-kick from 20 yards.
Moments before half-time, Karacan struck the bar with a lofted effort from the edge of the box after Bobby Grant cleared a corner straight to his feet.
Nigel Adkins brought on Le Fondre for Garath McCleary on 57 minutes and, but for the bravery of Gilks, the substitute would have opened the scoring with a close-range effort following Drenthe's mazy run and cross.
The deadlock was finally broken when 20-year-old Barkhuizen broke with the ball 20 yards out, sidestepped two defenders and netted the winner.
Blackpool manager Paul Ince:
"When you look at us, talent alone won't win you matches, you have to have a bit extra and that's what got us through.
"We lost (Craig) Cathcart, (Isaiah) Osbourne before the game and then (Gary) MacKenzie during the game.
"Ideally, if I had a full-strength squad, Tom Barkhuizen might not have been on the bench. I told him to enjoy the moment and don't think about it too much.
"I thought he'd missed his chance to shoot but he took it so well. His composure was superb, he didn't panic."
Reading boss Nigel Adkins:
"We made a mistake at the back for their goal and fair play to the Blackpool player for taking advantage of that but we've got to be doing better in that situation.
"We wanted a clean sheet and there's no reason that we shouldn't have done that.
"It was a poor goal to give away, but from my point of view we should've done better. We had possession and should've kept it."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows the whistle to end the game.90:00 +5:08
Free kick taken by Wayne Bridge.90:00 +5:01
Unfair challenge on Jem Karacan by Angel Martinez results in a free kick.90:00 +4:41
Michael Chopra takes a shot.90:00 +3:48
Free kick taken by Alex McCarthy.90:00 +3:40
Free kick awarded for a foul by Barry Ferguson on Chris Gunter.90:00 +3:26
Corner taken by Barry Ferguson from the left by-line.90:00 +2:06
Alex McCarthy takes the free kick.90:00 +2:02
Michael Chopra is ruled offside.90:00 +1:24
The ball is crossed by Adam Le Fondre.89:34
Shot comes in from Michael Chopra from the free kick.88:57
Unfair challenge on Angel Martinez by Alex Pearce results in a free kick.87:48
Header at goal by Pavel Pogrebnyak goes right of the post.87:40
A cross is delivered by Nick Blackman.85:24 Substitution
Substitution Pavel Pogrebnyak is brought on as a substitute for Hal Robson-Kanu.84:55
Matt Gilks takes the free kick.84:28
Hal Robson-Kanu is caught offside.81:32
A cross is delivered by Royston Drenthe.81:02 Substitution
Substitution Danny Guthrie goes off and Daniel Williams comes on.80:00
Clearance made by Chris Basham.
Chris Gunter delivers the ball.78:16
Michael Chopra takes a weak shot and went wide left of the target.78:09
Jack Robinson crosses the ball.76:59
Chris Basham makes a clearance.76:54
The ball is delivered by Danny Guthrie.76:03
Kirk Broadfoot restarts play with the free kick.75:52
The referee penalises Danny Guthrie for handball.75:37
Clearance by Kirk Broadfoot.75:31
The ball is swung over by Chris Gunter.74:06 Goal scored
Goal! - Tom Barkhuizen - Blackpool 1 - 0 Reading Tom Barkhuizen slots the ball left footed into the goal. Blackpool 1-0 Reading.71:37
Free kick crossed by Jack Robinson.71:15 Substitution
Substitution Robert Harris on for Gary MacKenzie.71:00 Booking
Booking for Danny Guthrie for unsporting behaviour.70:54
Danny Guthrie concedes a free kick for a foul on Angel Martinez.70:12
Kirk Broadfoot makes a clearance.70:09
The ball is delivered by Danny Guthrie.67:38
Tom Barkhuizen takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the goal.66:47
Clearance by Neal Bishop.66:42
The ball is swung over by Adam Le Fondre.66:10
Matt Gilks takes the free kick.65:54
Royston Drenthe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jack Robinson.64:28 Substitution
Substitution Tom Barkhuizen comes on in place of Bobby Grant.63:41 Substitution
Substitution Michael Chopra on for Ricardo Fuller.63:16
Alex Pearce makes a clearance.63:06
Corner from the left by-line taken by Bobby Grant.60:31
Royston Drenthe sends in a cross.59:03
Adam Le Fondre takes a weak shot.58:57
Royston Drenthe delivers the ball.58:32
Gary MacKenzie manages to make a clearance.58:27
Royston Drenthe crosses the ball.58:08
The ball is delivered by Hal Robson-Kanu.57:01
Neal Bishop makes a clearance.56:51
Free kick crossed by Danny Guthrie.56:33 Substitution
Substitution Adam Le Fondre comes on in place of Garath McCleary.56:10
Royston Drenthe fouled by Jack Robinson, the ref awards a free kick.55:37
Ricardo Fuller takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Alex McCarthy catches the ball.53:51
Free kick crossed by Royston Drenthe.53:31 Booking
Booking for Chris Basham for unsporting behaviour.53:21
Foul by Chris Basham on Nick Blackman, free kick awarded.52:53
Alex Pearce makes a clearance.52:46
The ball is delivered by Jack Robinson.51:18
Shot by Bobby Grant. Alex McCarthy safely holds on.50:46
Ricardo Fuller crosses the ball.47:55
Alex McCarthy restarts play with the free kick.47:49
Foul by Ricardo Fuller on Chris Gunter, free kick awarded.47:42
Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.47:31
Royston Drenthe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary MacKenzie.45:32
Free kick crossed by Jack Robinson.45:22
Jem Karacan challenges Ricardo Fuller unfairly and gives away a free kick.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:00 +2:16 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +2:07
Neal Bishop manages to make a clearance.45:00 +2:03
Corner taken by Royston Drenthe from the right by-line.45:00 +1:51
The ball is crossed by Chris Gunter.45:00 +1:00
Free kick taken by Matt Gilks.45:00 +0:47
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary MacKenzie by Sean Morrison.44:53
Corner taken by Royston Drenthe.44:08
Royston Drenthe has an effort direct from the free kick. Matt Gilks parries the ball away.43:16
Angel Martinez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Royston Drenthe.42:57
Hal Robson-Kanu takes a shot.42:33
Corner taken by Danny Guthrie.42:05
Royston Drenthe crosses the ball in from the free kick.41:10
Barry Ferguson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Royston Drenthe.35:29
Alex Pearce takes the free kick.35:22
Neal Bishop challenges Jem Karacan unfairly and gives away a free kick.33:19
Alex Pearce restarts play with the free kick.32:24
Ricardo Fuller gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Pearce.29:18
Matt Gilks crosses the ball in from the free kick.29:14
The offside flag is raised against Royston Drenthe.25:24
Clearance by Gary MacKenzie.25:17
Corner taken by Royston Drenthe.22:52
Header by Neal Bishop goes to the left of the goal.22:42
A cross is delivered by Angel Martinez.21:45
The ball is crossed by Hal Robson-Kanu.21:24
Gary MacKenzie makes a clearance.21:15
Free kick taken by Royston Drenthe.20:33
Angel Martinez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Garath McCleary.19:15
Clearance by Gary MacKenzie.19:10
Garath McCleary sends in a cross.17:59
Ricardo Fuller has an effort at goal. Alex McCarthy catches the ball.15:14
The ball is sent over by Royston Drenthe.15:00
Bobby Grant produces a cross.14:55
Clearance made by Alex McCarthy.14:39
Corner taken by Jack Robinson.14:27
Clearance made by Alex Pearce.14:17
Jack Robinson crosses the ball.12:00
Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.11:48
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kirk Broadfoot by Nick Blackman.11:18
Clearance by Nathan Delfouneso.11:07
Corner from the right by-line taken by Royston Drenthe.8:30
Wayne Bridge makes a clearance.8:24
Nathan Delfouneso crosses the ball.3:44
Hal Robson-Kanu takes a shot and went wide of the right hand post.2:23
Alex McCarthy takes the free kick.0:00
The game begins.
Live data and text provided by our data suppliers