@gowerboy The one problem you have is not knowing that messages in Unread are not marked as read automatically when you look at them. (They would be if you were using a different view.) The technical reason is that if you mark a message as read it is no longer listed as Unread and hence would disappear (and another take its place in the message pane) before you could tell what it said. Message titles in blue are those you haven't seen, titles in bold are "unread", and those not in bold are marked as read
There are keyboard shortcuts and of course a toolbar button to mark a message as read, if you don't use those (or just read your messages in something other than Unread) they stay unread.