is there any way to turn off the automatic "read" even if you haven't opened the message? when I just move to the next message the prior message gets marked as read. is that because the preview is on in the right column?
What you are describing is the default behavior in both the Vertical and Horizontal Views. I don't know of any way to change those. However, if you switch to the List view, it will leave them marked as unread if you don't open them and just navigate up and down the list with your arrow keys. I'm not quite sure why but there it is.