Brian McDermott's side remains without a victory in the Premier League this season, with chances at a premium as solid defensive performances cancel out any hope of goals
While the hosts were much the better side in the first half, an increased urgency from the visitors saw Chris Hughton's team waste the few chances that it created in the second period.
The hosts were initially the more attacking of the two sides, with Chris Hughton's team set up for quick counterattacking. Reading looked dangerous with some crosses flying in from the right, but neither keeper was tested in the opening stages.
The first 45 minutes were, in truth, a tetchy affair in the most part, lacking any real efforts on goal. Norwich had a sum total of two shots in the first half, both deflected with one heading for a corner and the other nestling softly in Federici's arms.
John Ruddy was the more busy of the two keepers, blocking an effort from Garath McCleary, and coming a very long way to punch clear a looping free-kick. Aside from that though, it was a fairly stop-start beginning to the precedings, with referee Chris Foy perhaps getting a little more involved than he should have or would have liked.
The second half definitely stepped up a notch in terms of intensity though, with Norwich finding more of the ball, but the hosts looking more threatening.
Wes Hoolahan should have done better with a chance from the edge of the area, blasting wide of the post as he tried to bend it in with the outside of his foot.
Both teams were stretching to find the opening goal in a game that looked increasingly like it would take only one to settle it.
Jobi McAnuff came close for the hosts, whipping a shot just over the bar after cutting in from the left. Chances were becoming harder to come by, though, with both teams hoping to notch a goal on the counterattack.
Grant Holt had only one real chance throughout the game, but a cross towards him got a flick right in front of the striker, and bounced off his frame and out of play.
The visitors ended the strongest, with Robert Snodgrass missing a header and Anthony Pilkington pulling a shot well wide, but in the end neither team really did enough to warrant all three points.