I am reading a book where one character describes another's reading habits, and the person she is talking to says 「らしいと言えばらしいな」. From context, he seems to be saying that her reading habits are unsurprising given her personality, but why not just say 「らしいな」? What does the 「らしいと言えば」 part add?
'AといえばA' means "(I would not spontaneously say so, but) if you are going to say A, I am not strongly against it". 'AらしいといえばAらしい' means "(I would not spontaneously say so, but) if you are going to say it is characteristic of A, I am not strongly against it".
Does the person describing another's habits uses らしい as well?
Isn't it something like this
A: BhlaBhlaらしいな B: らしいと言えばらしいな
In this case, B is just nodding to a point he did not picture before. "I can picture it now that you said it.". The same as そう言えばそうかもな。
らしいな alone would mean "Yes, you are right." without the previous nuance I mentioned.