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Before Windows 8, opening multiple PDFs would result in a window for each one, and you could then alt+tab between open documents.

In Windows 8, they all open to the Reader app, but only one instance is ever open. Is there a way to quickly switch between open documents using Reader?

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The best way would be to just change the program set to open PDF files. –  Ramhound Jan 24 '13 at 20:51

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When you have 2 or more files open in Reader you can press and HOLD right click on a file you are not currently viewing and it will let you open it in a new window.

Voilà, you now have two instances of Reader each with different files. Just do the Windows 8 split screen thingy and the can be side by side for your viewing pleasure.

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