Here's a somewhat differently slanted view -- in favour, perhaps, of being a bit "daft"! :-)
No matter how many times I read three-year old Daisy her favourite book, no matter how well she knows it by heart, she hasn't read it herself. She can't read.
No matter how many times the adult illiterate listens to a tape a complete reading of e.g. Bleak House, no matter how well he knows the book as a result, he hasn't actually read it. He can't read either. (The blind person who can read braille, of course, can read Bleak House.)
The audiences that heard bards sing The Iliad were fortunate indeed. But most never read it. They couldn't read. (And what about audiences before it was written down?) Similarly for the groundlings at early performances of Shakespeare.
There's a difference between having read a work and knowing it well. You can read something without, as a result, remembering a word (as on long haul flights!); and you can know it very well without ever reading it.
Sure, since we tend to assume that reading and a certain acquaintance with a book go together, we do loosely ask "have you read X?" when we mean "do you know X?", or some such. But still, loose talk is loose talk. And listening to a classic book on tape, unabridged, is not sufficient to be able to claim to have read it. An illiterate person would plainly not be telling the truth in saying that he had read Bleak House after listening to a tape, since he can't read.