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Q.:  I want to read SMS.
A.:  This is an example of my Nokia 7110, your results can vary a lot. See 3GPP TS 27.005 for full explanation. However, near to all commands are optional. When you get an ERROR, it might not be your fault. Bold commands are the one you type in and have to end with an ENTER. The rest are the results and an explanation.

This sets the phone to SMS Text mode which can be read more easily, but not all phones support it. Value 0 is the PDU mode which is a rather difficult way to organize SMS, but should be used in professional programs for editing the SMS.

Again it can take its time, but there are your SMS from the SIM.
The Nokia 7110 is one of the mobile phones with internal SMS storage. Change the storage which is viewed:

This displays all SMS on the internal phone storage. Some phones have problems with this command sequence. You can use:

If you change the number, you can see each storage index individually.