The fact that the sentence starts with 'Ben' indicates that it is stressing the fact 'I' / 'me' read the book and paper. The 'um' at the end is merely to add the subject.
You could omit the "ben" at the beginning and the sentence would still work due to the "-um" at the end.
Finally it is getting clear, the accusative case. Thanks to moderators and developers for making this course very well!
does kitap mean "book" or "books". i can never tell the singular and plural
You are right there....you will learn more about this later :) (Almost everything in Turkish follows vowel harmony)
Based on Chris-Yates' comment and in the fact that "Onlar okur" and "Onlar okurlar" are both right...
Can one simply leave out the verb conjugation?
You are correct. There are both correct :) "Onlar okurlar"="Onlar okur"="Okurlar"
If you have a plural subject, you don't have to include the plural marker on the verb. If you chose to drop "onlar," you must include it to get the plural meaning into the sentence.
Well, I would be surprised if anyone could read bread :D
But no, that is never allowed. You must say "Ben ekmek okurum" (but only if you are actually able to read bread...who can do that?)
The book and the newspaper referred to in this sentence: is this referring to a specific book & newspaper? Or would a sentence like "Ben gazeteyi okurum" also be able to mean "I read the newspaper" [as in, I read the newspaper every day]? I hope this question makes sense!