I’m what you could call one of those thirst for knowledge people. I’ve always read pretty fast and when I was younger people would constantly be surprised (I hesitate to say impressed) about what I’d get through in double quick time. Part of this was that I read a bit quicker than the average bear because I did it so much, part becuase I spent so much time reading. And to this day the hour commute each way is still productively used to further my twenty year mission of knowing every fact in the world. Anyway, I’m still interested in reading quicker to try and cram a little bit more in and from what I can see, speed reading without specialist equipment is of dubious value at best.
The good news for you is that the mighty power of computers means that you can stick any old copy and pastable words into a digital speed reader (that seems to count as specialist equipment) and it’ll go for it without most of the comprehension drop offs ’special technique’ speed reading seems to suffer from. Phew. Looks like another good reason to have Creative Commons style control over the bits that you’ve bought. Further resources include this handy J2ME speed reader which comes pre-charged with Cory Doctorow’s novel, Eastern Standard Tribe for easy testing and lukutoukka, a slick speed reading GNOME app.