Staying Healthy at The Reading Bug Bookstore through the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 2022 UPDATE

As we navigate our new normal, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines and San Mateo County guidelines.  Most of our staff remains masked indoors and we encourage you to do what you feel is best for you and your family.  Our storytimes will continue outdoors mostly because our event space is now a shipping warehouse for our Reading Bug Boxes!  In-store pick-up will remain at the entrance of the store by our register. The street in front of The Reading Bug remains closed for restaurant and retail parklets until further notice from the City of San Carlos. 

We kindly request that you do not sit down inside the store to read. We need to keep traffic flowing and crowds at a minimum. Please enjoy your purchases from The Reading Bug outside in our grassy parklet area.



June 25, 2020

Open for business! 


Our doors are open, but we are continuing to take many precautions to help protect your health and the health of our employees.

The Reading Bug Family loves having your families in our store – to gather, socialize, learn, play and shop. But books and gifts are meant to be touched and loved, and – as much as we’ve tried – we have decided that there’s just no good way to keep our entire store and store merchandise sanitized well enough to keep everyone safe.

So, here’s what we’re doing instead (and we hope you’ll continue to visit and shop with us):

CURBSIDE PICK-UPS WILL CONTINUE – AND YOU’LL LOVE THEM! Just order anything from us online at, select the free pick-up option, then come by and pick up as soon as your order is ready. We have millions of book titles available online, gift items to browse and buy, and also offer care packages – selected by our staff to meet your needs!

SHOP SAFELY IN-STORE! You don’t need to place your order online. Just come by the store any time we’re open, and we’ll be happy to assist. You’ll stay at the front of the store – with a view of all our great toys, books and games, and our staff will bring the merchandise to you. We’re happy to make recommendations and show off our favorites, just like we used to. Only difference is that we’ll be doing most of the touching. You’re welcome to handle the items we bring you and unpurchased items will be taken out of circulation for sanitization.

SHIPPING/DELIVERY. We’ve created quite the shipping operation in the last few months (And are still cleaning it up!). Need something delivered? No problem! Just purchase online and select delivery instead of pick-up.

OUTSIDE STORYTIMES! We’re moving out onto Laurel street for our free storytimes. We’re still working on schedules, so keep checking back with us. Storytimes and crafts will continue on our Facebook page as well.

Require something else? Have a suggestion for how we can improve? Just want to chat? We’re always here to help. Email and we’ll respond ASAP.

We truly miss you and hope to see you at the store… frequently!

-The Reading Bug Family

Due to social distancing restrictions and health and safety concerns, staffing remains limited, so please be patient. We promise to continue to evaluate conditions and determine how to best serve customers and community safely. Hours of operation are subject to change as a result, so keep checking for the latest!

To help mitigate the impact of these changes to our business, and to allow us to continue support our dedicated staff and to pay rent, utilities, and other expenses, The Reading Bug has established a GoFundMe campaign at

May 10, 2020

Curbside pick-up hours and COVID-19 update

Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing Mommas - and we hope all of you in our extended Reading Bug family are staying safe and healthy. We miss you!

Thank you for your exceptional support during these difficult times. Despite our store being closed, every web order, word of encouragement, donation and email has meant so much to all of us. We miss seeing your faces in the store, but love seeing your pictures on Facebook and at our window for curbside pick-ups.

With the easing of some community restrictions, we are excited to let you know that we will be bringing back a limited number of staff to help continue filling web orders, shipping purchases, running our no-contact pick-ups and running our Reading Bug Box subscriptions.

Because the health of our employees and customers is our top priority, we will be maintaining strict social distancing guidelines in the store and will not be fully staffed, so we appreciate your patience. What we will be able to offer, however - starting immediately - is regular curbside pick-up hours!  For orders placed online at, you can chose to pick-up at our front door during these times.

Curbside Pick-up Hours at The Reading Bug

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1:00 - 4:00PM
  • Saturday: 11:30AM - 1:00PM

Please wait to hear from us that your order is ready before coming to pick-up!

As we bring more staff back, we expect to expand these hours. Remember, you can order from millions of book titles online with us (even ebooks) - or have our store staff pick out a care package of books and other goodies for your shelter-in-place delight!

  • We're also shipping anywhere in the country if you want to send gifts to friends and family, or if someone you know needs a short- or long-term Reading Bug Box subscription.
  • Audio Books more your thing? No problem - get them here and continue supporting us:
  • Like our Facebook page: where we've got daily live storytimes, Sunday crafts and much more.
  • And don't forget to listen to all new episodes of our original podcast series, Reading Bug Adventures (we're recording from our living room!). Available on Apple Podcasts, Kid's Listen or wherever podcasts are heard. And get free music downloads while we all sheltering in place at 

Thank you for your continuing support! 

The entire team at The Reading Bug


March 16, 2020

To Our Reading Bug Family, 

Throughout the rapidly-changing situation surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) our top priority has been the health and wellbeing of our customers, our employees, and the community of San Carlos and beyond. Because of all of you - your support and patronage - we know that each decision we make has an impact that extends beyond our store.

With all of these stakeholders in mind, The Reading Bug bookstore has made the difficult decision to temporarily close our brick-and-mortar store location to normal operations, effective immediately. We will remain closed, along with local schools, through Friday, April 3.  We will continue to evaluate the situation and expect our store operations to track closely to local school closings (and re-openings).

Although our store will be closed, staff will still be working inside and you can continue to shop with us, although in a modified way that protects everyone's health. 

  • You can continue to shop with us online at, call us at 650-591-0100, or email Ordered items will be available ASAP for in-store pick-up, local delivery or shipping. Items currently in-stock in our store are listed as "on our shelves now" on our website, and nearly any book for any age can be purchased from us and available within 5 days. 
  • We are offering special "care packages" during this time - to help everyone keep their sanity through school closures, and inspire kids with books, activities and more. Selected by our expert staff, these packages will be available within 48 hours of ordering. Place your order at or give us a call.  
  • Reading Bug Boxes will still ship on time to all of our awesome subscribers! If you're not a subscriber already, you can subscribe at
  • Our story times will still be available! We're posting them on Facebook daily - and are considering a second daily story time. We will also periodically post craft videos for you! Follow us on Facebook (and join the conversation with post of you and your kiddos) for all our updates.
  • Subscribe via Apple Podcasts (or any podcast platform) to Reading Bug Adventures - our all-original story and music podcast! All episodes are FREE. We have new episodes planned to begin in April (we're furiously writing and recording!)!
  • You can also still purchase gift cards from us - for friends, for family, or even for yourself! Just go to
  • We have also created a GoFundMe campaign to help with near-term costs like rent, salaries, vendor invoices and utilities. 

We plan to continue to support our hard-working and incredible staff during this suspension in operations and thank you for your continued support and patronage. As you know, things are changing rapidly, and we'll continue to keep you updated on any changes to our plans.


Thank you - and please stay safe!

-The Savage Family (The Reading Bug)

March 12, 2020

Hello Readers!

Given the concerns about COVID-19, our team at The Reading Bug has been working hard on a plan to provide a healthy environment to continue to engage, educate and entertain our customers and to mitigate any risks to your health. We remain open for both in-store visits and online purchases and appreciate your continued support. 

What We Are Already Doing:


  • We have disposed of all stuffed animals that were in our play area and will replace them when it is safe to do so.
  • We have sanitized every surface in the play area and treated all toys that were in the play zone. Unfortunately, however, due to increasing concerns, we have made the decision to close the play area completely until further notice.  We will continue disinfecting the play area and toys daily when it reopens. 
  • Bathroom surfaces in our store restorooms are sprayed with disinfecting cleanser at least three times a day.
  • Hand washing signs are posted in the bathrooms (with songs you can sing while you wash!).


  • We will continue our daily storytimes at 11am Tuesday-Sunday. We are also planning to begin livecasting our storytimes on Facebook Live for those of you who choose to stay home.  Stay tuned for details.
  • The event space floor and seating are cleaned every morning before storytime, and we have removed the mats that were previously used for storytime seating.  Feel free to bring a blanket or towel to sit on for comfort during storytime. 

What You Can Do:


  • Consider washing hands when you come in to the store and before you leave.  Soap is provided - and restocked - in both restrooms.  Please be sure to properly dispose of paper towels in trash cans and supervise children at all times. No children under age 5 may be left alone in the restroom.


  • We know that our stuffed animals (especially the bunnies that are now everywhere) are irresistible, but we ask that you do not handle these stuffed animals (or hand them to your children) unless you are going to buy them.  Just as you want to be sure that the stuffed animals you purchased are clean, our other customers want the same assurance, and we can only give them this assurance with your help.



  • Many of you are or may be out of school in the next few weeks, and spring break plans may be reconsidered. If you haven’t done so already, download our free Reading Bug Adventures podcast! []  Every episode is an original children’s story, with music, written, produced and performed by all of us at The Reading Bug.