READING is a skill that one can hone. A person is known by the books he reads! The 3Rs of reading are plain and simple: Read, Record, Recall. Some of us read a book but do not retain what we read. It is for this reason that one needs to train in the skill of reading.
LISTENING is also a skill. Understanding is the goal of listening.Listening is not the same as hearing: we hear sounds but only when we focus on what we hear do we actually listen. Here is a book that helps one to hone reading and listening skills.