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I would like a user to input a number using the minibuffer. What function should I call and how should it be used?

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    You should try this: C-h f read- TAB...
    – shynur
    Jun 28, 2023 at 1:03

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What function should I call

read-number

how should it be used

You can call it directly, e.g., (read-number "").

But if you are writing a function, I recommend you put (interactive "n") (or similar form) in your function body.

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