This idea is credited to my current teacher, Dr. Jonathan Allen, but I use it so much that I wanted to share it. Most music books that we buy are just stapled together in the binding. Occasionally, you can get a book that comes spiral bound (the David Vining books are this way), but usually they are not. Whenever I buy a music book that is not spiral bound, I take it to Copyworks to have some work done. I have them cut the binding off and put spiral binding on the book. I always make sure to ask them to cut the book as close to the original binding as possible to eliminate losing any music in the process. I also have them cut a couple clear plastic sheets to put over the front and back covers. This helps prevent bending pages and wearing out the corners of the book.
This whole process costs about $5 and takes about 5-10 minutes, but it is completely worth it. For those very well used books, wear and tear will undoubtedly take its toll. Eventually, you may have to replace the book, resulting in the loss of all your written comments and notes. If you have this done to your books, the clear plastic sheets will prevent most damage. Also, the days of bending your books back to get them to lay flat is over. This is a hassle and damages the binding of the book. If your book is spiral bound, it will lay completely flat on your stand and you will never have to worry about pages potentially flipping back. Spending $5 more to help keep your book in good shape even makes more sense than spending the money to replace it down the road. I do this to almost all of the music books I buy and I highly recommend it to any musician that plays a lot of music. Thanks for the great idea, Dr. Allen!