I figured it out.
I use TextAssist 4.0 for all text-to-speech playback.
All I had to do was highlight the text with TA already started, and click on 'play'.
I also reduced text size to get more text on the screen and a longer playback between e-page turns.
PS - TextAssist is a very old program, from back in the days of WinXP or Win98.
It's only 'gliche' is that to make it work with Windows 7, you have to 'wake it up' first by playing any .flv video file for 2 seconds first, using FLVPlayer4free first (which I figured out through sheer blind persistence when I first installed Win7).
Then you can start TA safely and it works perfectly in Win7.