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Cheap book with perfect (not) binding

I have a textbook for a class that is a massive (1500 pages!) paperback
which is "perfect bound."  Naturally, although I tried to treat the darned
thing with excessive care, the spine cracked within two weeks, making the
book less pleasant to read than a book ought to be.

It has occurred to me that I might be able to repair it by attaching some
fairly stiff material to the spine, but I wonder if this is really likely to
work.  I have made some books, but I have never repaired one of these
imperfectly bound monsters.  I have to spend a lot of time with this book
over the next five to six months, so a fix would be nice.  Has anyone had
any experience they can share with me with repairs of this sort?  Am I
wasting my time on this, or is it something that is likely to succeed?

Thanks in advance!

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