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1) Is there a difference in meaning between "get in a habit of reading" and "get into the habit of reading"?

2) I also want to make sure whether this is the idiomatic way to say this.

3) Is it natural to say "the habit of reading" or it is preferred to say "the habit of reading books"

For example:

I read for my children every night to help them to get into/in the habit of reading.

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Both are correct and mean the same thing, but I would say into the habit of reading is less idiomatic.

3) Is it natural to say "the habit of reading" or it is preferred to say "the habit of reading books"

The habit of reading is fine, whilst the habit of reading books could be used to specificy specifically what you will be reading, for example books or magazines.

  • I think the first is incorrect - "habit of reading/exercising/dancing" is specific and I doubt we can say "get in a habit of reading". – AIQ Oct 2 at 21:00
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I've just found the answer. According to Collins dictionary:

If you are in the habit of doing something, you do it regularly or often. If you get into the habit of doing something, you begin to do it regularly or often.

Note that "into" usually implies movement, so when you get into something, you are going inside it, as if you move to "enter the habit".

Based on Ngram and by comparing the results between two Google Searches A and B, it is obvious that "get into a habit of" is more accurate and common when you talk about beginning a habit.

Also, I think Daniil is right when he said that it is fine to say either "habit of reading" or "habit of reading books".

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