examples/files/slurp.py
from __future__ import print_function

filename = 'examples/files/numbers.txt'

with open(filename, 'r') as fh:
    lines_str = fh.read()   # reads all the lines into a string

print(len(lines_str))   # number of characters in file

print(lines_str)        # the content of the file

read(20) will read 20 bytes.