I've had an interesting conversation with a researcher for CBC's As It Happens, who initially wanted to do a story on the whole book/plane thing. But, she now says, Transport Canada says there is no ban on books, so the CBC will not do a story. It's unclear whether Transport Canada will make a public statement to that effect, though.
In reading the original release, I see there's an important difference between it and what was initially reported. The release says "Effective immediately, US bound passengers are not allowed to bring carry on bags into the cabin of the aircraft, with some exceptions," and then goes on to list the kinds of bags. That important first sentence has been left out in every story so far, giving the impression that what followed was all that is allowed.
But from reading the entire releasle, the upshot should be: if you can carry a book in one of the allowed bags OR IN YOUR HAND you can bring it on board. Please let me know if you or anyone you know is hassled for this.
Addenda: And apparently Transport Canada is doing some damage control because I received a copy of a letter from Mathieu Larocque, one of their chief spokespeople, to the head of the Canadian Publishers' Association, confirming "that books and magazines and other personal items such as cell phones and laptop are permitted on US-bound flights." He adds: "Transport Canada is currently working on a revised list that will be a little more specific and that will include items such as books and magazines. "