Chris Hughton's Canaries travelled to Berkshire in good form, having picked up seven points in their last three league outings, but both teams were guilty of poor finishing and wasteful possession in a match that lacked any moment of quality.
The game started slowly and, other than a few profligate efforts sprinkled throughout the match, it never had the tempo required to get the home fans fully behind their side's quest for a maiden league victory.
Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass had an early run at the Reading defence following a ball-winning tackle by Alexander Tettey, but his shot was deflected into the arms of Adam Federici.
The first chance of note came after a quarter of an hour when Royals' winger Garath McCleary fired in a long-range effort that was parried away by John Ruddy in the Norwich goal. Bradley Johnson ballooned an effort high over Federici's crossbar midway through the first half as the visitors started to come back into the contest.
Snodgrass then missed the best chance of the game as he headed Wes Hoolahan's cross wide, but it was Reading who almost took the lead after half an hour as Sebastien Bassong dallied on the ball and was robbed by Jason Roberts on the touchline.
The same lacklustre pattern followed at the start of the second half with Hoolahan guilty of mistiming an effort from the edge of the Reading penalty area.
Hoolahan's cross was too high for skipper Holt and Reading almost took the lead as they broke up the other end and saw Sean Morrison head Nicky Shorey's free-kick just wide of Ruddy's right-hand post.
With 20 minutes remaining Holt was presented with the best chance of the game but he mistimed his jump as he looked to head Javier Garrido's cross past Federici and the ball looped out of play. Both teams found themselves with chances late on as Snodgrass failed to make enough contact to a header when well-placed in the Reading box.
Anthony Pilkington was the next player guilty of poor finishing as he latched on to Grant Holt's clever flick before firing high and wide from 25 yards, and Holt then forced a simple save out of Federici with a tame header.