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5.1.3 The Lisp Reader

Lisp programs and functions are stored internally as Lisp data objects, the Lisp Reader is the mechanism that translates from textual descriptions of Lisp objects to the internal data structures representing them.

The Lisp Reader is the collection of internal functions accessed by the read Lisp function. It reads a character at a time from an input stream until a whole Lisp object has been parsed.

See Data Types.