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Sorry. Let me be clearer. I have code that works well enough. 
 Its just that I don't like it because it has to read ahead 
and that can cause problems. I would like the code to just 
have to do peeks, not do reads. Here is the current code: 

(set (read-table-entry *VAR-READ-TABLE* #\=)
     (lambda (port char old-read-table)
       (ignore old-read-table)
        (let ((next-char (peek-char port)))
           (if (char= next-char #\>)    ; ignore => because of T's COND 
                  (read-char port)
                 (make-Var (read-refusing-eof port))))))

where make-var creates a var object. 

                --- Rob