I posted last week about my initial experience with the speed reading program EyeQ. I’ve continued to do the 7-minute training exercises every day. My average reading speed has increased from the initial value of 219 WPM to 486 WPM, which is a 122% increase. My comprehension, however, is lagging behind quite a bit.
On my first comprehension test my effective reading speed was 190 WPM. The comprehension test is administered every 10 training sessions. My second test was a few days ago and it was 200 WPM. Obviously, not much of an increase there.
The documentation on the EyeQ website does acknowledge that comprehension lags behind reading speed. I think I will have a better feel for that after my next test.
I mentioned last week that I was having issues with my internet and that was making some aspects of the program difficult. That continues to be a problem. While EyeQ is certainly not responsible for my terrible internet connect (Cox Communications is to thank for that), I still find it frustrating that EyeQ doesn’t have any kind of buffering and doesn’t save progress as you advance through the exercises. This is a logical thing to have and I feel that they should address it.
One thing that holds me back a bit is subvocalization. This is where you say words in your head as you read them. Part of speed reading is breaking this habit. It’s impossible to stop it completely, but it is possible to do it less. I’m getting better about it, but I find when I am really absorbed in a book I just can’t help myself. It’s like I have a love of the words and want to savor each one. Unfortunately, savoring each word runs counter to reading quickly.
Another thing that I have found is an obstacle to speed reading is unfamiliar words. Where this comes into play is when I am reading something with a lot of foreign words or made up words. The Abomination and The Abduction both have a lot of Italian words, so that tripped me up a bit. Once I got use to it, however, it wasn’t a huge deal. Basically, I knew those words weren’t going to mean anything to me anyway, so I just skipped reading them and looked at the context instead. I had a similar issue with The Bone Clocks, which is a fantasy book with some made up words. This was a little bit harder to ignore, since the words are important enough that I couldn’t just ignore them.
The issue with unfamiliar words is one that I imagine anyone would have. I doubt there is a way around it. The best solution is to read more. While you can’t do much about the foreign or made up words, if you are encountering regular English words that are unfamiliar, reading more will help you expand your vocabulary, which will in turn reduce the likelihood of this continuing to be a problem. If that makes sense.
As for the training exercises themselves, the eye strength exercises are tedious, but it is only a few minutes, so it’s not that bad. I actually really enjoy the two-point training. In the two-point training you find a route through a maze with only your eyes, which I think is fun. There are other parts of that training and they move quickly and don’t feel as tedious as the strength training.
I mentioned last week that the boxed version of EyeQ is available on Amazon from third-party sellers, including some that use Amazon fulfillment. I am still considering trying that once my one-month subscription runs out. I think it would be useful to compare the two.
So, my overall impression at this point is that the program works if you actually use. That is, of course, assuming my comprehension catches up with my reading speed. I’ll continue to update on that matter.