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The second approach to skip lines while reading a text file is efficient, but still bit clunky and a bit of a hack.

Hack as I googled, meaning cut roughly as verb. Sorry I should mention here a hack is a noun but still no relevant definition suits in the context.

But what does a bit of a hack mean here?

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  • Hint: in construction like "a bit of X" X is usually a noun
    – Kreiri
    Apr 6, 2020 at 6:47

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"Hack" in this context means a shortcut, a cheat, an unconventional way of doing things that might get the result but is not the proper way.

It is a relatively new word used this way and is drawn from the context of computer hacking. A "hack" (noun) in computing terms usually involves introducing some new code to an existing system to make it do something it was not meant to do, or to achieve a result faster.

In this new context, the term can refer to any non-computing aspect of life where something different from the norm is done to get a different result or save time. This wider use of the word has spawned the compound word "lifehack", which is defined as "a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way".

In your example, it is talking about a suggestion to "skip lines" to make reading faster, which will certainly speed up the process of reading, but as a "hack" it is not reading the way you are meant to, and like unstable computer code, it may produce an unexpected result.

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  • Wow the explanation is much more than expected! Thanks so much!
    – hckalewine
    Apr 6, 2020 at 10:39

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