When New Zealand author and sports journalist Joseph Romanos announced he wanted to donate his extensive collection of cricketing books to good homes Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall was happy to put his hand up.

"Hearing that news made my ears prick up and my blood run a bit quicker," he said.

McDouall answered the call and will collect some of around 600 books from Romanos when he travels to Wellington for a local government national conference in two weeks.

"I have really enjoyed talking cricket with Joseph in the past and it has been a long time so we have arranged to have a catch-up when I collect the books," McDouall said.


"I have a reasonable collection of my own so there will be some double-ups that I will need to pass on."

Romanos told RNZ he had been giving away books from his vast collection of sports titles because he didn't believe his children would be interested in keeping them and he thought they should be distributed to people who will enjoy them.

The mayor has written his own book on cricket and Chris Cairns was published in 2002.

Romanos is unlikely to offer McDouall a copy of his own book from the collection, however.

"Joseph said he will be keeping the more recent New Zealand titles," McDouall said.

"I'm really interested in the books from the 30s, 40s and 50s and I believe there are some pre-World War I rarities as well."

The new additions to the McDouall's collection will be housed in the library designed by his architect wife Elinor Harvey McDouall for his 50th birthday.

"Eventually I plan to write more books and these will become part of my reference library," he said.


"I've been lucky enough to inherit other great collections and some of the titles that Joseph is offering are ones I've been on the lookout for."

McDouall said it would be great if a local cricket lover will be happy to take the surplus books from him once he has assimilated the Romanos books into his collection.