Fulham hotshots Moussa Dembele and Ross McCormack each added to their glorious goal tally - but their side was under the cosh for long spells.
It was definitely a point gained rather than two lost as Reading asked most of the questions after they went a goal behind.
The second half saw Andy Lonergan keeper, but their side held on - just.
After just seven minutes a marvellous McCormack corner and a fine header back across goal from Michael Madl set up Dembele perfectly to hook in from blank range.
The shot had no power - it didn't need it, even though keeper Ali Al Habsi got a despairing hand on the ball before it settled in the corner of the net.
Lonergan came and missed a corner that needed Richards to hack away at the back post. But straight back up the other end, Tom Cairney's shot proved too hot to handle.
Madl came rushing only to stumble under a challenge - and to rub salt into the wounds Ryan Fredericks was booked for a challenge on Ola John as Reading broke.
What Fernando Amorebieta was thinking only he will know when he nudged Hal Robson-Kanu on the edge of the box with the Royals man going nowhere.
The referee had a long hard look, but eventually awarded the penalty. The man felled got up to send Lonergan the wrong way with a deft stroke to the keeper's right.
It got worse when a clearance broke down on the edge of the Fulham box and the ball was slipped through to John who unselfishly centred for Robson-Kanu to plant a diving header into an open net from a yard.
Reading might have gone ahead further when Yann Kermorgant flashed across the face of goal barely 20 seconds into the second period.
But it was Whites who hit back.
A yard from the same spot where Amorebieta gave away a penalty, former QPR defender Anton Ferdinand did the same when he took out Fredericks.
With great aplomb, McCormack sent the keeper the wrong way for his 19th goal of the season.
The home side were seeing more of the ball for all that, and Lonergan did well to parry a hammered drive from John, even if was straight at the keeper.
But even though there were five minutes added time to withstand - they did, and this was a vital point towards Championship survival.