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best method for reading a file

I am trying to figure out the best method for reading in a file:
the file has a structure similar to XML (though it is NOT xml).


General
specific
professional


7.25
11.56
16.36



This file could be either large or small, depends on previous usage. Would it be worth reading in the whole file to parse the data or reading in the data line by line?

Thanks
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http://www.matthewseymour.co.uk

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