‎"It's also possible to change the default base the reader uses for numbers without a specific radix marker by changing the value of the global variable *READ-BASE*. However, it's not clear that's the path to anything other than complete insanity."

Peter Seibel, Practical Common Lisp
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Elias Mårtenson's profile photo
 
There is one case when it's usable. If you reassign READ-BASE in a dynamic scope where you call READ yourself. Usually the thing you read wouldn't be Lisp code though, but merely some S-expressions whose format you control yourself.
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