In-form strikers Danny Ings and Sam Vokes fired Burnley to victory and kept them flying high at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.
Ings struck in the first half, his seventh league goal of the season, before Vokes doubled the hosts’ advantage with his fifth in four Championship games late on.
Jason Shackell’s own goal with eight minutes remaining set nerves jangling at Turf Moor but the Clarets held on to earn their fifth league win in a row which represents their best start to a season since 1961 – when they finished runners-up in the top flight.
Neither side had much to show for a largely ineffective opening 20-minute spell before Ings celebrated his midweek call-up to the England Under-21s by netting the opener.
Kieran Trippier’s seemingly innocuous ball towards the penalty area was misjudged by two Reading defenders allowing Ings to slot home unchallenged after 21 minutes from just six yards out.
Vokes almost added a second two minutes later when David Jones’ 25-yard drive was spilled by Alex McCarthy only for the Royals goalkeeper to recover in the nick of time.
Michael Duff reacted well to snuff out a through-ball intended for Pavel Pogrebnyak at the other end as shell-shocked Reading looked to respond.
And the Russian international then forced Tom Heaton into action with a 30th-minute header that the Burnley stopper tipped over the bar.
Heaton then plucked a Jordan Obita volley out of the air but Ings almost doubled his tally on the stroke of half-time when he found space on the edge of the box before watching his shot drift wide of the upright.
McCarthy was at full stretch to deny Scott Arfield after he was played into space by Vokes early in the second half and he was alive to turn away a stinging 20-yard strike from Ings before recovering to thwart Jones with his feet.
The busy keeper then palmed away Ings’ header from the resulting corner and got the better of him in a one-on-one before the Burnley man spun on the ball only to see his volley blaze over the crossbar.
Nick Blackman dragged a tame shot wide as the Royals struggled to create an opening however, and Vokes punished them after 80 minutes when he slid the ball home from a narrow angle.
Reading posted an immediate reply though when the ball hit the unlucky Shackell on the knee and rebounded into his own net from Pogrebnyak’s header just two minutes later to set up a tense finale.
But the visitors did not have enough in the tank to snatch a late equaliser with Chris Gunter’s header going straight at Heaton five minutes from time.