Reading by humans is mostly done from paper, but other media are used, such as carved stone, chalk on blackboard: anything that can hold a mark. More recently these include computer displays, television and other displays in devices such as mobile phones.
The process of recording information to later be read is writing. In the case of computer and microfiche storage there is the separate step of displaying the written text. For humans reading is usually faster and easier than writing.
Reading is typically an individual activity, although on occasion a person will read out loud for the benefit of other listeners. Reading aloud for one's own use, for better concentration, is a form of intrapersonal communication.
Literacy is the ability to read and write; illiteracy is usually caused by not having had the opportunity to learn these. Apart from that, sufferers of dyslexia have difficulty reading and/or writing.
About acquiring reading skill, see Reading education.
Learning to read in a language other than your native one, especially in adulthood, may be a rather different process from learning to read your native language in childhood. For this, see English as an additional language.