Is it ok to use tables with html5 and css3?
I am taking a new course in HTML5 and CSS and we are required to use the book, "HTML5 and CSS, Comprehensive" 7th edition by Shelly Cashman Series. By page 200 it starts saying to create a nav menu using a table with images for the words in the table (in case some browsers don't have the font you want to display). It's also showing how to use tables for non-tabular data. I'm very concerned because this class starts in a couple days and I don't want to learn the wrong way.
I previously learned to use a list and display the line items: inline, for a navigation menu, but that was several years ago. Do I need to be concerned with this book and course or is the new HTML5 and CSS good for using tables in this manner and it's ok with browsers for small tables? The tables don't appear to be used for page layout as a whole, but it seems to suggest it for certain displaying of images or some other non-tabular data, rather than CSS and divs.
And if I use text images in my nav bar, won't that affect accessibility and hurt my seo? I thought the google font library solved small font issues across browsers.
Anyway, any thoughtful insights into these matters would be greatly appreciated. This course is required for further courses (Concordia Web Development Diploma). Should I just go through the motions to complete the course and learn or understand the "right" way to do it on my own. Will I pick up too many bad habits?
Thanks for any help,