Middlesbrough recorded their third successive goalless draw, but Tony Mowbray's side remain just two points behind leaders Southampton.
Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici had a good game and produced a superb double save to deny Middlesbrough pair Scott McDonald and Marvin Emnes.
Reading's best efforts came from Adam Le Fondre and Simon Church.
Late on Boro piled on the pressure and both Emnes and Barry Robson hit the post but Reading held on for the draw.
For the first quarter of an hour Reading camped themselves in Boro territory with Hal Robson-Kanu shooting straight at Carl Ikeme, while Simon Church headed just wide from Jobi McAnuff's cross.
Just before the half-hour Federici produced a double save to deny first McDonald and then Emnes when both seemed certain to score.
After the break McDonald should have given Boro the lead, but the Australian contrived to fire wide of Federici's goal.
With 15 minutes left, referee Anthony Taylor waved away Le Fondre's claims for a penalty, turning down suggestions Julio Arca had handled in the box, before Emnes clipped the post with a header.
And soon afterwards Robson also hit the woodwork as Boro came desperately close to securing all three points.