I think one of the reasons people read less today is simply because there are so many distractions. The following quote by Samuel Johnson condenses this, and I think it is why we have difficulty getting meaning from the Bible, or understanding a poem or some thought that causes us to stretch our neck. To meditate, contemplate or pray require this prescription--
"The true art to memory is the art of attention. No man will read with much advantage, who is not able, at pleasure, to evacuate his mind, who brings not to his author (or God) an intellect defecated and pure; neither turbid with care, nor agitated with pleasure. If the repositories of thought are already full, what can they receive? if the mind is employed on the past, or future, the book will be held before the eyes in vain."
Photo by Max Levine