Excellent question. I like the analogy to reading English text -- no matter how much someone (verbally) explains reading to you, the only way to get good at it is to actually read stuff, with at least some excruciatingly simple stuff.
I hear that writing (starting with simple stuff) is also helpful in learning to read.
Once you know what each electrical component does -- transistors, diodes, caps, etc. -- you can eventually work out the results of some connected set of components (or write a simulator that simulates it, like SPICE), much like knowing how each letter sounds, you can eventually sound out words in written text.
Alas, just because you can read the words "Eppur Si Muove" or "Jedenfalls bin ich überzeugt, dass der Alte nicht würfelt." with perfect diction does not mean you really understand it.
The vast majority of circuits can be divided into small, relatively independent clumps of components. Often we quickly (after only a few hours :-) recognize roughly what each clump does -- we have a mains-to-DC converter here, we have an oscillator there, we have a power amplifier over there, there's some kind of power-up reset (perhaps a soft-start?) circuit over there, there's a microprocessor with its standard caps and pull-ups over there, there's a keyboard matrix here and a LED matrix there, etc.
When designing electronics, recognizing these groupings is even more important.
Often some prototype does something that's a little annoying -- say, rapidly drains the batteries, or the particular parts chosen are now unavailable -- and the best way to fix it is to tear out a section (or, more often, completely disconnect, isolate, and bypass that section), and replace it with a functionally equivalent section that is faster, cheaper, lower-power, or better in some other way, although implemented completely differently.
A few people are really good at drawing schematics.
In theory, it shouldn't matter where each component is drawn on the schematic, as long as it is connected to the right pins of the other components -- in theory, it shouldn't matter how you spell words on paper, as long as it sounds OK when you sound it out.
In practice, there are certain common ways of arranging things (idioms) that help people remember where they've seen this particular group of parts arranged in that way before.
Many schematic diagrams look like a big spaghetti ball of interconnections where you pretty much have to figure out what everything is doing all at once.
But extremely rarely is it really a circuit where everything depends on everything else -- most of the time, it's merely poorly drawn.
Most people, when trying to figure out such a big mess of seemingly randomly-connected components,
get a pencil and a big piece of paper and re-draw sections in their preferred style.
Nearly always a schematic can be re-drawn more clearly -- we have input power, we have an oscillator over here, etc. -- and then we can draw a big box around each section and label it "oscillator", "signal amplifier", "power amplifier", etc., and label what the connections between sections mean.
I imagine that the original designer rigged up a quick prototype with an oscillator here, with its output connected to a power amp there.
In order to reduce net parts cost, sometimes (even though it makes things more confusing) we overlap sections. For example, using much more expensive transistors in the oscillator than we really need just to oscillate, so that its output can directly drive a heavy load -- the "oscillator" section overlaps the "power amplifier" section.