As a youth entering the sixth form to study Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics I enjoyed the riches of the school's mathematics library and in particular three books which appealed to me, A mathematician's apology , A book of curves  and On growth and form .
Hardy's book  is one that an impressionable, young mathematician should not read unguided. It left me with the impression that the proper pursuit of mathematics was as a pure subject, of no use or application, to be studied for its own sake; to my regret, I held to this view for several years before finally being able to shake it off through teaching Newtonian mechanics. Looking across mathematics teaching today I seem to observe great interest in geometry, number and algebra ‘curiosities’ that are rooted entirely in mathematics. This in itself is no bad thing, since it clearly draws us and our students into the fascinating world of mathematics. But what of the applications of mathematics? Might they be equally fascinating? Surely we do not want to lure our students into Hardy's trap?