Well, you may soon be able to do that, without lurking around in darkened alleyways in the sketchy part of town. German company Txtr is proposing just that with their Beagle eReader. They are marketing it more as a smartphone accessory rather than a Kindle-slayer, and they have used a few tricks to get the cost down - w-a-a-a-y down to around €10 (or about $13 US). It's small, with a 5-inch screen, uses AAA batteries, and has no Wifi or any of that guff - eBooks are transferred via Bluetooth from a smartphone using an app for the purpose.
The video below is mostly in German, but you will get the gist of it. The Engadget article has a different English promo video.