Is there a better way to read a vector of strings?

Hello --

Part of my motivation for posting this is just in case someone finds
it a useful starting point for whatever they're trying to do. I'm a
newb at hdf5, but I finally figured out how to write a vector of

   std::vector<std::string> confs;
   H5::H5File file (filename, H5F_ACC_TRUNC);
   H5::StrType st(H5::PredType::C_S1, H5T_VARIABLE);
   hsize_t dim[1] = {0};
   dim[0] = confs.size();
   H5::DataSpace dataspace = H5::DataSpace(1, dim);

which seems simple enough, so i'm happy with this, unless someone has
a suggestion... but reading this seems more difficult than necessary
because I can't figure out if there's an easy way to read the whole
vector at once, instead of picking them off one at a time:

      H5::H5File file (filename, H5F_ACC_RDONLY);
      H5::DataSet dataset = file.openDataSet(confName.str());
      hsize_t dims[1];
      dataset.getSpace().getSimpleExtentDims(dims, NULL);
      std::vector<std::string> conf(dims[0]);
      for(std::size_t j=0; j<dims[0]; j++){
         H5::DataSpace file_space = dataset.getSpace();
         hsize_t count[1] = {1};
         hsize_t start[1] = {j};
         hsize_t dim1[1] = {1};
         H5::DataSpace mem_space(1,dim1);[j],st,mem_space,file_space);

note: i've not tried to compile these abstracted code snippets

this seems to work for me... but if there's something better, I prefer
simple code... any suggestions?