I have a similar issue. I'm using Brasero Disc Burner under the latest version of Ubuntu (64-bit AMD, 12.04 LTS). The CD-ROM reads at a miserable 658 KiB/s (3.8x), while it will write a copy at 5138 KiB/s (29.8x).
In other words, it takes longer to read the original than it does to burn seven copies.
It's a basic ASUS CD/DVD drive. I'll try to find a model number.