I have noticed that my WPM scores are better with the single word flashing and word chunking exercises, than they are when reading from an actual book or entire passages with a scrolling highlighter. I think this is attributed to two things, the first two exercises provide no way to skip back and re-read text previous text (I’m just realizing how excessively I do this), and since the words flash across the screen so fast there is no time to subvocalize them. I think with practice my scores will even out, but for now I need to focus on not skipping back, or reading out loud to myself.
I also went out and bought a pair of ear plugs, a recommendation in the ‘Teach Yourself’ book. I have noticed that they improve my concentration a bit by tuning out the rest of the world. In college I always did my reading with music on to tune everything else out, but now that I am picking up the pace with my reading, I have come to appreciate silence. I tried speed reading with music, and then without and there was almost a 100WPM difference in my scores. That was all it took for me to go out and buy the ear plugs.
I have also realized that I need to get the prescription updated in my reading glasses. After about 20 minutes of speed reading the edges of the letters start to get blurry, and after I stop reading it takes a while for my eyes to readjust. It’s probably about time I have my eyes checked anyway, it’s been about 5 years since I got these reading glasses.