First, I don't think your problem is ridiculous. It seems to me that you got used to a specific kind of language, and for this reason aren't familiar with everyday speech which surely is different from academic language.
Why not try some novels or books for children? I think this would even be better than reading school books.
Some time ago we had a discussion about recommandable novels (general member disucussions). I remember that "A Spot of Bother" (author's name?) was highly recommended there.