Rather than mess around with $INPUT_RECORD_SEPARATOR (AKA: $/), and restore it afterwards, a better method would be to use the File::Slurp module.
It is another common Perl pitfall to write new code for a common problem when you should have looked on CPAN. There is a very good chance that you will find a fully debugged implementation that considers all the edge cases. It never ceases to amaze me that people would prefer to spend half a day writing and debugging code, instead of 15 minutes finding and installing a module from CPAN.
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