As to the structure, 'read' is either an infinitive verb, or - more likely, I think - a noun (like "write" in my first paragraph). It's common for IT people to refer to a program 'doing a read', rather than 'performing an action that involves reading from memory'. Anyway, the vowel is /i:/
I'd use the hyphen if I were you. Many people don't, but a 'high-level grill' isn't a grill that is both high and level In compound adjectives like this, a hyphen makes life a lot easier for the reader.
Student or Learner