That goal condemned the Royals to their fourth successive defeat and meant they have still not won a home league game since January 27.
They had much the better of the first half, but squandered several good chances with Wales international Simon Church and midfielder Marek Matejovsky being the main culprits.
Where Reading failed Leicester succeeded from a set-piece. Matt Oakley sent over a right-wing corner and Martyn Waghorn outjumped everyone to head past Adam Federici to celebrate his first start for the Foxes.
Reading midfielder Job McAnuff did draw one superb save from Leicester keeper Chris Weale, who tipped his effort onto a post. When the ball rebounded to him, McAnuff saw his follow-up effort diverted wide by Ryan McGivern. To Reading's consternation referee Keith Hill awarded a goal-kick.
The pattern looked like repeating itself the moment the second half began as Reading wasted yet another glorious chance. McAnuff sent in a cross from the right and Church put yet another effort just wide of the post.
Leicester showed they were not going to rest on their laurels with a Matty Fryatt breakaway and shot that was well blocked by Reading keeper Federici.
Midway through the second half the luckless Church was replaced by Shane Long, with attacking midfielder Jimmy Kebe replacing Gylfi Sigurdsson, but despite Reading's constant probing, City always looked like hanging on to their lead, with the added bonus of several good chances of their own to add a second.
As the game wound down the nearest Reading came to an equaliser was when Grzegorz Rasiak just failed to connect with Kebe's right-wing cross.
There were chants of 'you're getting sacked in the morning' from the 16,000 crowd as Reading manager Brendan Rodgers was left to contemplate record of just two wins in 14 games since he took over from Steve Coppell.