"I am lying alone and reading."
Translation:Я лежу один и читаю.
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It really depends on the adverb. Some adverb work better after the verb, others before it. I suggest you just learn them one-by-one.
There is no real rule, just guidelines. I've translated the guidelines about the adverbial modifiers of manner here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11620891
Сам is an emphatic (or intensive) pronoun, like "myself" or "himself" in English. (In English, these are similar to the reflexive pronouns, btw, although in reality they are separate: "I hurt myself today" = reflexive, whereas "I will do it myself" = intensive/emphatic.)
Hence, 'сам' in Russian doesn't mean alone, which is 'один' (m) or 'одна' (f).
Я лежу одна и читаю is accepted. It's possible you made a typo or another small error.
PS. For what it's worth, although I cannot be certain this was your answer, there was a report submitted a hour ago (about the time you posted here) for Я лежу одна и читает, which is incorrect because читать also needs to be conjugated into the first person singular. Whether that's your sentence or not, it illustrates that it can be very easy to not even notice a little, unintentional mistake.
Does it mean: Я лежу один и читаю = I am lying alone and reading. It is just the fact - description of the situation, does not matter what others are doing. Я один лежу и читаю = I alone am lying and reading. There were many doing it, but only I am still doing this, all others asleep or so. Is my understanding correct?